Project 1: Wonder-full Education and Human Flourishing
This project investigates two hypotheses: a) the human capacity to wonder is a necessary characteristic of a flourishing person and b) wonder-full education is beneficial to both the flourishing of students and their development into flourishing adults.
The project will consist of three studies. The first will investigate the characteristics of wonder-full education, drawing on the work of Kieran Egan, Max van Manen, and others. The second focuses on the hypothesis that the capacity for wonder is a necessary characteristic of a flourishing person. The third study connects the first two studies by elucidating the notion of the flourishing pupil. The wondering flourishing (adult) person might be regarded as the aim of wonderful education. Children also wonder, however, and thus it is more precise to say that education aims to actualize a mature (appropriate or 'balanced', in Jan Pedersen's words) sense of wonder. Moreover, one could say that children also flourish in gradually actualizing their potential. An elucidation of the notion of ‘the flourishing pupil’ will therefore help us understand how wonder-full education can promote the flourishing of pupils as well as their development into flourishing adults.